I wish my American readers a Happy Thanksgiving Day – or, as we in Canada call it, Thursday.
Tuesday, I started feeling human enough to put my hard contacts back in my eyes. Yesterday, my right eye was slightly irritated, not enough to do away with the lens, but enough that I took the lens out to clean it and re-inserted it.
So, at 4:45 last night (it gets dark early here by the North Pole), I’m waiting for oncoming traffic to clear so that I can turn left onto Somerled from Grand (southbound). Just as I have the room to go, I blink, and out pops my left contact lens, the one that had been fine.
Normally, a lens will rest on my cheek, and I can grab it – but this one is not there. I try not to move more than necessary as I scan my jacket and lap. Within seconds, the cars behind me start honking. I either have to drive, and move my arms to steer, or sit there and clog traffic while I look for the missing lens. Admittedly, it’s not “Sophie’s Choice”, but it is a $150 contact lens.
The eye that can still see is my keratoconoid eye, which remains a bit astigmatic even when corrected with a hard lens. The eye without the lens might as well be made of glass. And it’s night out already, remember. There’s no point in looking for the lens. I had to complete the turn.
I drive to our destination, Child Three’s hockey rink. I sit still. I ask Child Three to look me over to see if he can see the lens. He checks me out with the all the dedicated concentration of a goldfish on cocaine. He doesn’t see the lens on my jacket, on my lap, behind the rear view mirror, or in the glove compartment.
I also look, futilely. I have no choice. I have to get up. I hope the lens falls out of my clothing onto the driver seat, but I’m not that lucky. I carefully peel off layers of clothing. Nothing. There’s not much more I can do with one modestly good eye, no light, and an antsy six-year-old.
Child Three has always wanted to play goalie. (So did I when I was that age, and I did for a few years, until it got boring.) Tonight is the first practice in which the organization will distribute goalie pads and sticks to prospective goalies. I know the basic goalie techniques and I’ve been teaching them to Child Three off ice, but now I’m going to have to go skate with 45% vision. It’s doable, but I go on the ice hoping I won’t crush a kid on my blind side. I’m the only parent or coach there who has any goalie knowledge, so sitting out is not an option.
The practice went well. In drills, Child Three was super. He’s handling the stick properly, upright and flat on the ice. Unfortunately, he lost focus in the post-practice mini-game and went flopping on his belly. I’ll take pictures at the next practice, Saturday.